On August 25, 2011, Huanqiu, China’s official website, published an article written by Zhu Bingyuan, the chairman of the Marxist Research Institute at Soochow University, with the title “It Is More Difficult to Deal with a Friendly and Gentle America.” Regarding the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden eating soy bean sauce noodles in a small restaurant in China and U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke’s low-key arrival without assistants or guards, Zhu commented, “In fact, the Western politicians’ every move in public carries some level of political scheming. They don’t do it on a whim; they deliberate after repeated consideration.”
Zhu said that the diplomatic purpose of being "low-key" and "close to ordinary people" as demonstrated by Biden and Locke is to "show" their "democracy" and "common people" style in front of their creditor’s people so as to avoid a lot of public criticism and reshape the American image.
More examples of the U.S. “smart power” strategy include consolidating the South Korea, Japan alliance using the conflict between North and South Korea; stepping aside and letting France and Britain bomb Libya; and remaining neutral in the South China Sea dispute on the surface but supporting the Philippines and Vietnam to gain profit. Zhu calls on China to remain on high alert against the United States’ “smart power.”
Source: Huanqiu, August 25, 2011